UN renews Libya mission, pledges to support a ceasefire

The U.N. Envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Libya April 6, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 12 September 2019

UN renews Libya mission, pledges to support a ceasefire

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution renewing its mission in Libya for another year and pledging to support struggling efforts to build a ceasefire in the war-torn country.
Libya has been mired in chaos since an uprising toppled and killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, when the United Nations mission in Libya (UNSMIL) was established.
The Security Council said it asked the UN Secretary-General "to assess the steps required to reach a lasting ceasefire (and) the possible role of UNSMIL in providing scalable ceasefire support."
The pledge of support was requested by UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame, who has pushed for a restart of the political process since Khalifa Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive in April to conquer the capital, Tripoli.
Haftar's forces are fighting those of the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is led by Fayed al-Sarraj and is recognized by the UN.
While Sarraj is backed by Turkey and Qatar, Haftar enjoys varying levels of support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Russia, and France.
Last week, Salame warned that without action by the Security Council, Libya's conflict would escalate if outside patrons step up support for the warring sides.
But General Ahmed al-Mesmari, spokesman for Haftar's forces, on Saturday ruled out any political negotiations.
"The time of going back to dialogue is over," said al-Mesmari, speaking in the UAE. "The military solution is the best solution to spread security and reimpose the law."
Since April, fighting between pro-GNA and pro-Haftar forces has killed at least 1,093 people and wounded 5,752, while some 120,000 others have been displaced, according to the World Health Organization.


UAE announces two new cases of coronavirus

Updated 14 min 49 sec ago

UAE announces two new cases of coronavirus

  • UAE has so far announced 11 confirmed cases
  • Health ministry urges public to follow preventive procedure

DUBAI: The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention, MOHAP, announced two new cases of coronavirus, COVID19, on Friday.

UAE has so far announced 11 confirmed cases. Three of them have fully recovered.

MOHAP explained that the two new cases had been in close contact with the recently confirmed case of a Chinese citizen.

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It affirmed that it is screening all persons in close contact with the confirmed cases to “avert spreading of the disease and ensure safety of the community.”

The ministry said: “The two new cases are for a 34-year-old Filipino and a 39-year-old Bangladeshi. Their condition is stable.”

The ministry added that it had been following a very effective epidemiological monitoring mechanism and all the necessary precautions to ensure highly efficient preventive measures were taken, including check-ups and observation of people in contact with patients.

It was all done as per the guidelines and standards of the World Health Organization, the ministry added.

It urged the public to follow the preventive procedures and to read the awareness instructions available on its website and the official websites of health authorities in the UAE.

“The public are also advised to adopt protective health behaviors to avoid infectious diseases, including washing hands with soap and clean water, and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing to stop the spread of germs and viruses,” the ministry said.